To enter the UK you must go through Customs. Anyone found with restricted or illegal goods faces a severe penalty. Diplomats have some immunity and may sail through customs untroubled.
Entering a different country: A heavenly one
Life is like a queue for heaven. Most people see two ways of entry:
Nothing to declare
Many people expect to get to heaven through this gateway. They say, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong.’ They see nothing in their life that would make their entry to heaven illegal.
They have either not read or ignored the restrictions for entry. These are called the Ten Commandments and they are written in the Bible.
‘Well,’ says the person in this queue, ‘I’m sure I’ve kept them… generally.’
Yet failure to keep them all spells disaster. The Bible says: whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (Jas 2:10).
We have all broken God’s rules. The Bible says: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Therefore no one will be able to stand before God and say, ‘I have nothing to declare.’
Something to declare
People carry heavy bags to this gateway, filled with all the good things they have done. ‘With these,’ they say, ‘I shall enter heaven.’ Jesus met some very religious people who also thought that God would be impressed with them. Yet Jesus tells us even they were not good enough: unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:20).
Only one Man could go through any gateway to Heaven
The Lord Jesus could say, ‘I have nothing to declare’. He was: without sin (Heb 4:15-16). He alone was good. In the Bible He is called: The Lord Our Righteousness (Jer 23:6). Jesus is able to claim diplomatic immunity: He is the Son of God.
Yet when Jesus stood at heaven’s border control, He willingly carried the baggage of others. Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the whole world (1 Jn 2:2). In dying on the cross for sinners, He took the severest penalty.
Diplomatic immunity for us
Now we too can claim ambassador status; acceptable to God through Christ. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21).
Do you have immunity?
Which queue are you in? Do you say, ‘I’m not too bad’? Or, ‘Hopefully I’m good enough’. Unlike at Heathrow, all will be searched, we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10). The only way to pass border control is through Jesus Christ. Repent of your sin and trust Him alone; then you too will have immunity.
A warm welcome awaits you at the Granary Church!